Buying a Car? Do This First: Visit an Auto Show

Miami Auto Show

It’s auto show season!

Miami kicks off the auto show season this week, and that’s a good thing: With offers and deals galore, it’s a great time to buy a car. But before you do, it’s important to visit an auto show. Here are some good reasons to go:

  • You can see and try out all the cars you’re interested in
  • Product specialists are on hand at every booth to tell you about the cars
  • Product specialists are not sales people so you won’t be pressured to buy
  • You can get the lowdown on changes between this year’s and last year’s model
  • Many auto shows have ride and drive events so you can actually drive a few new cars, too
  • There are LOTS of things for the kids to do, from drive simulators to games to events just for kids, so they won’t be too bored

Even if you’re not in the market for a car right now, going to the auto show is a great way to keep up with changes and advances, including ways your phone and other technology integrates with your car

If you head to the Miami Auto Show (September 10-18, 2016) here’s a look at the top things you’ll see there:

The introduction of the new Nissan Rogue

Nissan chose Miami for the world introduction of the updated 2017 model. There are lots of great new touches, including a more muscular look on the outside and more pampering details inside. But the big news in the Rogue? Nissan is bringing a hybrid version (up to 35MPG) to market this fall.

Product engineer Robin Moreo walked us through the new Rogue; this video shows her favorite things about this cute crossover.

A focus on safety technology

Miami Auto Show

You can take a drive with a crash test dummy at the Miami Auto Show– and see how Toyota’s Safety Sense technology works. The Oculus Rift virtual reality goggles (on the dash board) give you the whole picture. Photo: Scotty Reiss for AGirlsGuidetoCars

All those things you’ve been hearing about: adaptive cruise control, crash mitigation, lane keep assist and more… what are these things? How do they work? Some of them you don’t even really notice until it’s too late (like air bags). Understanding this, Toyota brings a lot of focus to its booth and even has a crash test dummy you can hop into an Avalon with, put on the Oculus Rift goggles and see how Toyota Safety Sense keeps you safe on the road.

Live the luxe life… and learn how to drive it, too

Miami Auto Show

The luxe and luscious Lexus LC 500h is the company’s new high performance sports car; it goes on sale in 2018. Photo: Scotty Reiss for AGirlsGuidetoCars

Lexus has a hot new sports car on display, the LC500h. The most stunning thing about this car, other than its beautiful shape and style, is that it’s a hybrid (no, the price hasn’t been announce and yes, it will be pricey). One sweet little secret about stealthy hybrids is that the electric engine actually makes them faster. So Lexus has scheduled a series of performance driving schools, including one in Palm Beach for September 30-October 2nd. The LC500h isn’t scheduled to hit the market until 2018, but you’ll get a feel for driving the brand’s other performance car, the RC F.

Miami Auto Show

The rear view of the Lexus LC 500h is just as impressive as the front. Photo: Scotty Reiss for AGirlsGuidetoCars

Another impressive display is the new Genesis lineup. The brand has broken out from being the top tier Hyundai model to being its own line of luxury cars. And they are taking luxury seriously, too; not only are the cars superbly detailed inside and out, owners will be treated with the utmost respect and service: Genesis offers pick up and drop off service appointments, a concierge and more. All this will be the focus of the brand’s fall advertising campaign as the NFL’s official luxury car sponsor.

Go ahead, take it off

Miami Auto Show

The 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth edition features Recaro racing seats and other performance drive features; it comes in touring and luxury editions too. Photo: Scotty Reiss for AGirlsGuidetoCars

The top of the car, we mean! The Miami Auto Show has fun with the idea of Topless in Miami—and they showcase a number of cars to get the idea across. Two of our favorites are beautiful, classic and accessible: the Fiat 124 Spider and the Mazda MX5. We got a look at how easy the Fiat is to pop or drop the top—one handed, not mechanical so no waiting. It was impressively easy.

Miami Auto Show

The 2017 Mazda MX5 has the look of a fastback but the hard top retracts for a full convertible. Photo: Scotty Reiss for AGirlsGuidetoCars

But we can’t wait to test drive the Mazda MX5 hard top. This car is more ‘practical’ for climates that are not sunny all year long, where you might appreciate a hard top to keep the heat in and the rain out. This is one of the most gorgeous new cars of the year.

We also were charmed by the #PinkBeetle, a raspberry pink VW Bug with a  sublimely gorgeous charcoal and pink plaid interior. The limited edition Beetle (and no, it does not come with eyelashes) leads VW’s mission with Charitybuzz: The first one to roll off the production line will be auctioned off to raise money for Giuliana Ranic’s cancer fighting foundation.

Miami Auto Show

VW will auction the very first limited edition #PinkBeetle to benefit the Charitybuzz cancer foundation. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Auto show is a good reason to head to Miami… but hurry

If you visit the Miami Auto Show you can also see the show’s Memory Lane, which is filled with classic and vintage cars, and Million Dollar Alley where you’ll see the best Lamborghini, Bugatti, Ferrari, Aston Martin and McLaren have to offer.

Disclosure: I was a guest of the Miami Auto Show for the media preview. Travel and accommodations were provided; opinions are all my own.

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss